Blockchain company Blockstream is in our blockchain news today for expanding their satellite service and launching their fifth satellite that will broadcast the bitcoin blockchain from space.
Adding the fifth satellite increases the coverage area and brings a much bigger potential for internet-free BTC transactions and information sharing mostly to users in the Pacific region. Though the satellite is still in beta testing, it is already available across Europe, Africa, and North America.
The company has also launched a new application programming interface that will allow the satellites to be used in order to exchange encrypted messages and users will have to pay for using those using micropayments with the Lightning Network. The Blockstream CSO Samson Mow says that ‘’Bitcoin has always been about uncensorable money and now we have uncensorable communications as well.’’
Blockstram CEO Adam Back told Forbes magazine:
“We see the increased robustness of the bitcoin network and the lower cost of participation contributing to helping businesses rely on the service for backup, and for emerging markets to use as their primary access to the bitcoin network at a lower cost.”
With the latest launching of the fifth satellite, Blockstream managed to cover the entire globe except for parts of Greenland and Antarctica. The data that is streamed via the satellites covers all historical Bitcoin transaction data.
Blockstream announced their first satellite project last year in August and their goal was to connect ‘’everyone on the planet’’ since there is still limited global internet access in the world.
The idea for launching a Bitcoin satellite, however, is not new. Bitcoin pioneer Jeff Garzik had a BitSat scheme wanting to launch a satellite back in 2014 but the initiative has stopped since.
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“I would say payment and utility tokens are more or less over, sometimes they make sense.”Talking about stablecoins, he explained that their decentralized mechanism is what makes sure that they are legally considered to be payment tokens rather than securities:
“Stablecoins are a precondition to enable average companies to bring their equity onto the blockchain, because if they issue bonds or shares they want to do so against U.S. dollars, euros or Swiss francs, because those are the currencies they calculate in, not Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH).”Meisser also pointed out that the banks in Switzerland still don’t attempt to try crypto but local startups do use them as a way to avoid banking difficulties in the country.
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“The Surround platform will enable the entire music entertainment industry to streamline operations through secure transfer of copyright assets, streamlined connectivity as well as better monitoring and management systems."The launch of this new service marks the expansion of Bitfury onto various aspects beyond mining. Within the ecosystem, this week also saw the company bringing off-chain payments through the Lightning Network (LN) to their first exchange environment thanks to a partnership with Poland's BTCBIT. As the CEO of Bitfury commented about the Surround project:
"The music entertainment industry has evolved into a complex, competitive, technology-driven environment that suffers from a severe lack of transparency.We want to champion artists and help incentivize the growth of the entire industry through the creation of this open, blockchain-based ecosystem."There are many blockchain entities which are tackling the music industry transparency for several years, with ideas such as blockchain-based streaming service being revealed in 2018.
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